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Sri Lankan cricket legend Jayasuriya banned for two years

Jayasuriya

Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya. File phto: Andrew Boyers / Reuters

DUBAI: Sri Lankan cricket legend Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from all cricket for two years after admitting two breaches of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Code, the sport's governing body announced on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old -- regarded as one of the greatest One Day International batsmen of all time and was pivotal in winning the 1996 World Cup -- accepted the punishment.

"This conviction under the Code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations," said Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager of the Anti-Corruption Unit in a statement.

"Compelling participants to cooperate under the Code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport."

Jayasuriya was charged in October after failing to provide his mobile phones to the ACU.

He was also accused of obstructing or delaying any investigation into corruption in the game.

Jayasuriya in a statement said he had pleaded guilty to the charges expecting a mitigated punishment.

"Consequent to correspondence between the ICC ACU officials and my lawyers we agreed to a sanction of a period of ineligibility of two years, which period is to take effect from the 15th of October 2018," Jayasuriya said.

Jayasuriya played 110 Tests, 445 one-day internationals and 31 Twenty20s for Sri Lanka and was also a former captain during his illustrious career between 1989-2011.

He is also a former member of Sri Lanka's parliament and a former deputy minister.

Last month, the ICC urged Sri Lanka's scandal-ridden sporting community to come forward with information about corruption and issued a 15-day deadline that expired in mid-February.

Sri Lankan cricket has been mired in corruption allegations in recent years, including claims of match fixing ahead of an international Test against England last year.

Marshall had said that new cases came to light during the amnesty period.

"The amnesty has worked very well and has delivered significant new and important intelligence," said Marshall.

"This new information has assisted a number of our ongoing investigations and has resulted in some new investigations getting underway.

"I am very grateful to those who participated in the amnesty and as a result of the information shared we now have a much clearer picture of the situation in Sri Lanka and our investigations are continuing."

The ICC considers Sri Lanka the world's most corrupt cricketing nation and the sport's governance riddled with graft "from top to bottom", Sri Lankan sports minister Harin Fernando said last month.

In November, former Sri Lankan fast bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was suspended for corruption linked to a limited-over league in 2017.

Lokuhettige was the third Sri Lankan player charged for violating the ICC's anti-corruption code, following those levelled against Jayasuriya, and former paceman Nuwan Zoysa.

Agence France-Presse

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Team Emirates’ Pogacar claims podium finish

A monumental final push in the UAE heat from Tadej Pogacar wasn’t enough to take the win in the third stage of the team’s home country as Adam Yates...


The 184km Emirates Stage finished with an exhausting 10.8km climb as Yates launched a surprisingly early attack with 6km to go. Pogacar didn’t react to Yates’ initial acceleration but then ripped clear of the chasing group with 5km remaining, finishing second in the stage, claiming the young rider’s jersey and ending the day second in the GC in a successful day for the team.

Pogacar said “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased.

“There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

Pogacar will get another chance to claim back the one minute GC deficit as the fifth stage of the Tour finishes at the same Jebel Hafeet summit.

Pogacar will wear the white young rider’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage as the race sees the riders return to the flats which will come as welcome relief for the sprinters.

The Emirates NBD Stage starts from Zabeel Park, crosses Mushrif Park and Motor City before finishing at Dubai City Walk where the popular walkway has been transformed as part of the racing route.

British climber Yates pulverised the opposition on the tough, final ascent of stage, winning by over a minute and taking the overall race lead.

His compatriot Chris Froome was dropped early in the race.

The four-time Tour de France winner again struggled on his comeback from injuries sustained last May.

The 27-year-old Yates is also making his 2020 debut and looks favourite to win in a competitive field after his stunning attack from 6km out at the end of a warm day with temperatures passing 30C.

“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good,” said Yates, whose win gives him a 1min 07sec lead in the overall.

“A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then,” Yates said in reference to stage five.

“Also tomorrow I heard a rumour there are going to be crosswinds, so we’ll see.”

Yates was followed up the final 10.6km Jebell Hafeet climb at a 7 per cent gradient by a trio of challengers with Slovenian prodigy Pogacar finishing 1min 03sec adrift.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was third at 1min 30sec accompanied by up-and-coming Frenchman David Gaudu.

Yates came fourth at the 2016 Tour de France and is targeting the Grand Boucle this summer where he will lead the Australian team ahead of his brother Simon.

Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.





Stage 3 Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 4h42’34”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:03

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:30

General Classification Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 12h30’02”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:07

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:35

22 hours ago